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March 3, 2011

Breakdown: UW at Indiana

Having closed out the regular season home schedule unscathed following a 78-63 win over Northwestern, the Wisconsin basketball team hits the road this week with hopes of keeping momentum strong entering next week's Big Ten tournament.

Before tonight's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Indiana to provide a closer look at UW's early season rivalry matchup.

Quick Notes:

-Wisconsin has won seven straight games against Indiana and 13 of the past 16 overall.

-Wisconsin currently has a seven-game winning streak against the Hoosiers. That's the longest such streak since UW beat IU 11 straight times between 1912 and 1919.

-Bo Ryan is currently 13-3 all-time against Indiana. He's also 9-3 all-time against Tom Crean.

Indiana vs. Wisconsin
Indiana Wisconsin Players The Word Advantage
Jordan Hulls vs. Jordan Taylor, PG Since scoring 27 points in an electrifying win over Ohio State, Taylor has seen his average dip to 16 points a game during UW's past four games. While not bad, it's not quite the same pace the junior had earlier in the Big Ten slate. Would he say he's wearing down? Doubtful. But any run UW has in store will rely heavily on the play of Taylor. Tonight, against the Hoosiers, Taylor matches up favorably. Advantage: Wisconsin
Verdell Jones vs. Josh Gasser, G From the moment he stepped on campus it was clear Gasser had a smooth confidence about him. It was never taken as being cocky or arrogant, it was simply a confidence that he knew what he was capable of. Over the past few games, the freshman guard has played some incredible basketball. That's the type of confidence you want from a young player, especially now that we're in the month of March. Tonight, Gasser will be tested by both Hulls and Jones. With the way those two can shoot, Gasser will need to be on his toes. Advantage: Push
Christian Watford vs. Tim Jarmusz F If Watford wasn't stuck in Big Ten purgatory, he'd be widely regarded as one of the leagues premier players. If only his team was just a bit more visible. With his length and athleticism he is never an easy matchup for anybody trying to defend him. Jarmusz, on the other hand, seems to be gaining confidence on the offensive side of the ball. His defense will normally be there, but any offense he can contribute is such a bonus for the Badger offense. Advantage: Push
Victor Oladipo vs. Jon Leuer G/F Lost in all the hullabaloo rightfully circling around Taylor is the fact that Leuer has continued to compile an amazing senior season. Leuer has reached 20-plus points in three of the past four games, including a 26-point outburst Sunday against Northwestern. He's a first-team All-Conference player and he, like Taylor, will be the keys to taking this team as far as it goes. Advantage: Wisconsin
Tom Pritchard vs. Keaton Nankivil, C Pritchard is one of those prototypical players coaches love to coach simply because he does everything he's asked, plays within himself and doesn't take any possessions off. Against Nankivil, the fact that he will be drawn away from the hoop may negate some of his rebounding ability. Then again, if Nankivil is hitting shots like he's capable of, rebounding wouldn't even be necessary. Advantage: Wisconsin
Jeremiah Rivers (pictured), Will Sheehey, Derek Elston, Matt Roth and Bobby Capobianco vs. Ryan Evans (pictured), Rob Wilson, Jared Berggren, Tim Jarmusz, Ben Brust, Brett Valentyn, Bench It seems as though Bo Ryan has found a stable of seven, sometimes eight guys, that get regular action off the bench. Guys like Bruesewitz and Evans are first off the bench and have shown a propensity to contribute offensively. That's key for UW. When they get bench contributions they are very tough to beat because teams then have to deal with them and whatever Leuer, Taylor and company are doing. Indiana, with Rivers coming off the bench, could receive a spark that way. Advantage: Wisconsin
Tom Crean vs. Bo Ryan, Head coach Ryan has yet to lose to Crean since he's taken over the Hoosier program. On senior night inside Assembly Hall, it's obvious that emotions will be high. UW is fairly veteran, though. On paper the Badgers should win but if there was one game Crean could motivate his guys it would be this one. The poise of Taylor, Leuer, Nankivil and the rest of the supporting cast will likely be too much to overcome, though. Advantage: Wisconsin


Date/Time

Thursday, March. 3, at 8:00 p.m. CT

Location

Bloomington, Ind.

Arena

Assembly Hall (17,456)

Television

ESPN (Bob Wischusen & Stephen Bardo)

Radio

Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series

Indiana leads 93-62

Last Meeting

Wisconsin won, 69-60, in Madison, on Jan. 20, 2011

Rankings

Wisconsin: USA Today: 10, Assoc. Press: 10

Indiana: USA Today: N/A, Assoc. Press: N/A



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